XI'AN, March 2 (Xinhua) -- The plan to build a national park for giant pandas was approved by the central government, Shaanxi Province forestry department announced Thursday.
The 27,134-square-kilometer park will be engaged in protection of the species and habitat preservation.
There are 33 groups of pandas living in the wild in China, distributed across Shaanxi, Gansu Province in the northwest of the country and Sichuan Province in the southwest.
Qinling in Shaanxi Province is home to 298 wild pandas, the department said. It will be divided into protected, habitat restoration and tourist areas.
The three provinces are currently drawing up action plans for the park, according to the department.
According to a nationwide survey released in February 2015, by the end of 2013 China had 1,864 wild pandas and 375 in captivity.